Respiratory Therapy Team Critical in COVID-19 Care

Monday, October 26, 2020

Respiratory Therapy Team Critical in COVID-19 CareRespiratory therapists always have been on the front lines of caring for patients with cardiac and pulmonary issues. So when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, their skill and expertise were critical in addressing the highly contagious respiratory disease. 

Respiratory Therapists typically care for patients who have breathing or cardiopulmonary disorders, such as COPD and asthma. Because severe cases of COVID-19 often lead to critical upper respiratory issues that can lead to death, their role in care setting has become even more important.

Respiratory therapists provide care to every patient showing signs of respiratory distress, including those with COVID-19. Their expertise — which includes assisting with intubations and ventilator management, in conjunction with assessing blood gases — allows them to help patients in critical condition affected by COVID. They are on the front lines with physicians to help patients beat COVID, and they are an essential part of the ICU team treating COVID patients. 

According to the American Association for Respiratory Care, there are about 150,000 Respiratory Therapists in the U.S., and UI Health is proud and fortunate to have dozens of the best! Our respiratory therapists often cite a "calling to serve" others as their inspiration. This driving purpose is profoundly evident during this current crisis — and in the work they do every day with their therapy patients and medical teams.